Social Security – All About
All about Social Security – Is a set of programs developed with the intent of financially helping those in need.
Hence, the beneficiaries of these projects include: retirees, those unemployed, financial dependents on deceased spouses, citizens with disabilities and more.
Check out more about this Social Security
- History of Social Security
- Social Security Programs
- Social Insurance Programs
- Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI)
- Unemployment Insurance
- Workers’ Compensation
- Temporary Disability Insurances
- Health Insurance and Health Services
- Programs for specific groups
- Veterans benefits
- Government Employee Retirement Systems
- Railroad Retirement
- Assistance Programs
History of Social Security
The present face of social aid in the United States is the result of longstanding traditions.
Since, the earliest colonial times, villages and towns recognized the need to aid those in need when friends and family could not.
Also, even before the First World War, mother pension laws already existed.
These pensions helped children without parental support to live with their mothers.
Up until the beginning of the 20th century, the approach the objective of social aid was to help only those in immediate need.
Hence, with the growth of the United States as an industrial country, the scenario of needs changed.
Social Security Programs
There is a long list of services provided by the Social Security Administration.
These services Social Security are:
- Social Insurance Programs;
- Health Insurance and Health Services;
- Programs for Specific Groups;
- Assistance Programs;
Social Insurance Programs
The Social Insurance Programs are:
- Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI);
- Unemployment Insurance;
- Workers’ Compensation;
- Temporary Disability Insurances;
Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI)
This program is, for most Americans, a synonym of Social Security as a whole.
It is the largest income-maintenance program in the United States.
Consequently, about 96% of jobs in United States are covered by it.
This program guarantees benefits for:
- Retired workers;
- Disabled workers;
- Spouse or child of a worker receiving retirement or disability benefits;
- Survivors of a deceased worker;
Initiated on a national basis on 1935, it is, with the other the compensation programs, one the oldest active programs in the U.S.
This program aims to guarantee partial income replacement for workers who became involuntarily unemployed.
Each state has its own weekly benefits formula, and all states establish a maximum amount that a worker is eligible to receive.
Hence, the program has a limited duration, that can range from 1 to 39 weeks, 26 weeks being the most common duration.
The worker’s compensation program is the oldest social insurance program that has been developed nationwide in the United States.
However, it has been greatly expanded in recent years.
Both the requirements to be eligible for it and on its scope of protection have been modified.
The program covers many types of hazardous jobs and the compensation laws vary among the states.
They vary in relation to the amount of weeks for which the workers will receive the benefits and the amount they will receive.
Therefore, the types of accidents covered vary from small fractures to total disability.
Temporary Disability Insurances
Temporary Disability Insurances provide workers with partial compensation for periods of time through which they can’t work due to work related incidents.
However, to qualify for the insurance, the citizen needs to have been employed for a specific amount of time or have earned a specific amount prior to the incident.
Hence, the weekly benefits are related to how much the claimant earned previously.
The maximum duration of the benefits vary from 26 to 52 weeks.
The amount of benefits paid depends on the amount of past earnings and the length of employment.
Health Insurance and Health Services
The Health Insurance and Health Services programs are:
Medicare is a health insurance program. It operates on a national level and it is funded by payroll taxes.
Its benefits are for Americans aged 65 or older, if they are eligible for Social Security benefits.
However, it can also provide benefits for some citizens younger than 65, if they have a disability status.
So, citizens with some diseases such as an end stage kidney disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, are eligible for its benefits.
Also, those who would receive a Social Security benefit every month if their governmental employment were covered are also eligible for benefits.
Medicaid is officially defined as: “a government insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care”.
The Medicaid program is a joint federal and state program.
Therefore, from the state’s perspective, it is optional to participate in the program.
However, all states have Medicaid programs.
Some tests are made to test the eligibility of those interested.
Programs for specific groups
The programs for specific groups are:
- Veterans’ Benefits;
- Government Employee Retirement Systems;
- Railroad Retirement;
Veteran benefits were created to help military veterans readjust to life in society.
The benefits offered by the program include:
- Service-Connected Disabilities.
- For work related eventualities.
- Non Service-Connected Disabilities.
- For non work related eventualities.
- Benefits for survivors.
- Health care benefits.
- Educational assistance and training.
Government Employee Retirement Systems
The first government employee retirement system dates back to 1920.
For exemple, members of the Armed Forces with at least 20 years of service receive military retirement benefits and medical care.
The large majority of government employees are covered by retirement systems.
Also, the benefits of these plans vary from one jurisdiction to another.
However, nearly all give benefits at least equal to the amount of the contributions made by the employees during their careers.
Early on, railroad workers were already covered by some benefits.
During the 20’s, when most workers didn’t have the benefits they have today, 80% of the railroad workers were already covered by a private pension.
Also, while the Social Security program was still in its early planning stages, Railroad workers sought to broaden the existing railroad programs.
As a result, the railroad retirement system is separate from the Social Security system of retirement.
Today, railroad workers receive a whole range of benefits, including:
- Unemployment Insurance and Sickness Benefits;
- Employee and spouse annuities;
- Total disability annuities;
- Occupational disability annuities;
- Vested dual benefits;
- Survivor annuities;
- Supplemental annuities;
- Retirement benefits;
The Assistance Programs include a number of smaller programs, directed at helping those with low income.
The Assistance Programs are:
- Supplemental Security Income;
- The SSI program provides monthly cash payments to aged, blind, or disabled persons whose countable income is less than $5,808 per year;
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families;
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families;
- Food and Nutrition Assistance;
- The main constituent of this assistance program is the Food Stamp
Program, as it is very well known among the population;
- Housing Assistance;
- This project finances the capital cost of the construction, rehabilitation, or acquisition of public housing to provide decent shelter for low-income residents;
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance;
- This project provides capital to states, territories, Indian tribes and tribal organizations to help low-income households acquire home heating and cooling;
If you want to learn more go to Social Security: Research, Statistics, & Policy Analysis
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